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AU to host conferences on crises in Sahel region, Lake Chad basin

Smail Chergui, a commissioner

PARIS, France— An Official of the African Union (AU) on Monday said the regional body will host two conferences later this year on the crises in the Sahel region and Lake Chad basin.

Smail Chergui, a commissioner at AU Peace and Security Council (AUPSC), said the Sahel region crisis conference will be held in a few weeks’ time in Nouakchott, Mauritania, to be followed by a conference on Lake Chad basin crisis shortly after that.

“We assessed during this AU summit candidly that we don’t need to adopt any more documents,” he said. “Now is a question of implementation, and promoting a better exchange of information between our member states security services.”

Chergui said he will be meeting United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey D. Feltman on Tuesday to discuss the situation in the two regions and preparations for the upcoming conferences.

The Sahel region, encompassing Eritrea from the east to Mauritania on the west, has in recent years been gripped by insecurity with attacks perpetrated by extremist groups and criminal networks.

An armed force comprised of Sahelian countries Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mauritania, named G-5, has been established with the help of the European Union, the United States and the AU to combat crime and terrorism.

The Lake Chad basin, comprising Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, and Niger, has been wracked by attacks from terror group Boko Haram.

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Michael Harrington

Michael Harrington is a researcher and senior contributing reporter with Globe Afrique Media.
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